Internships increasing in importance for landing a job

By and

Experience is the key to landing a job after graduation, and internships are growing in popularity among employers.

According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, employers cited undergraduate internships as one of the leading factors in why a student is hired.

Employers like interns because it allows them to work with students who are interested in the field, and gives them the skills necessary to work full time, said Director of Career Services Stan Inman.

“Interns don’t just pour coffee and do filing; they get responsibilities and the chance to show their employer that they can succeed at the company,” he said.

Internships usually lead to full-time employment because employers can see what a student can bring to the company and what he or she is capable of- something that a rsum can’t do, Inman said.

According to the survey, more than 53 percent of interns in 2005 were hired on as full-time employees, and 62 percent of new college hires had internship experience.

But doing an internship can help with more than just getting a job, Inman said. It can also earn the student college credit.

“Students can get set up with a program and receive credit for the learning they do on the job,” he said. “So it not only benefits students later, but also now while they are still in college.”

Internships help students discover opportunities and help them think about their professional strengths, Inman said.

“An internship allows students to experiment with employment and give them the experience to actually break into the market,” he said.

At the U, students interested in internships can search the database of job listings through Career Services and work with a counselor to find the internship that matches their interests and major. Internships are also coordinated through the Hinckley Institute of Politics and individual colleges.

Photo Courtesy of Robert Stephenson

As an intern at the office of U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch in Washington D.C., U political science major Robert Stephenson gains experience on Capitol Hill by attending events such as meetings and press conferences.